Isaiah 44:21

Hebrew Bible

20 He feeds on ashes; his deceived mind misleads him. He cannot rescue himself, nor does he say, ‘Is this not a false god I hold in my right hand?’ 21 Remember these things, O Jacob, O Israel, for you are my servant. I formed you to be my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you! 22 I remove the guilt of your rebellious deeds as if they were a cloud, the guilt of your sins as if they were a cloud. Come back to me, for I protect you.” 23 Shout for joy, O sky, for the Lord intervenes; shout out, you subterranean regions of the earth. O mountains, give a joyful shout; you too, O forest and all your trees! For the Lord protects Jacob; he reveals his splendor through Israel.

LXX Isaiah 44:21


20 Know that their heart is ashes, and they are going astray, and no one is able to deliver his soul. See, will you not say, “There is a lie in my right hand”? 21 Remember these things, O Iakob and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you as my servant, and you, Israel, do not forget me. 22 For see, I have blotted out your acts of lawlessness like a cloud and your sins like darkness; return to me, and I will redeem you. 23 Rejoice, O heavens, because God has had mercy on Israel; trumpet, O foundations of the earth; shout for joy, O mountains, the hills and all the trees that are in them, because God has redeemed Iakob, and Israel will be glorified!

 Notes and References

"... This verse affords us an example of imperativization of a niphal form which at the same time involves transformation of the verb from a passive to an active form.27 [It] is a word of assurance to Israel that she will not be forgotten by God. It appears to serve as the fourth consecutive reassuring statement by God in this verse: (1) '...for you are my servant'; (2) 'I formed you'; (3) 'you are my servant'; (4)' You will not be forgotten by me'. However, the translator has not read the sentence in this way. Rather, he sees it as an imperative that is parallel to the command that initiates the verse: 'Remember these things, O Jacob' ... In addition to these orthographic and grammatical features, an ideological motive may also figure in the imperatival translation ... As we shall see, the Isaiah translator finds the bare possibility of divine imperception—even if the purpose is to deny it—distasteful."

Baer, David A. When We All Go Home: Translation and Theology in LXX Isaiah 56-66 (p. 33) Sheffield Academic Press, 2001

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